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2017 Southern Section Award Winners

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. L. Wayne Greene, Auburn University

Dr. Wayne Greene received BS and MS degrees from NCSU in 1977 and 1979, respectively, and the PhD degree from VA Tech in 1981. He is a US Navy veteran and is currently Head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Auburn University. Greene served on the faculty at TAMU from 1981 to 2005 in teaching, research and Extension positions. In 1997, he relocated to the Texas AgriLife Research Center in Amarillo and was jointly appointed at West TAMU and Texas Tech University.  Greene presented the 1st-place Graduate Student Competition Paper in 1981 and was named the SS-ASAS Outstanding Young Animal Scientist – Research in 1991. He was recognized as a Texas AgriLife Research Fellow and a TAMU System Regents Fellow in 2003. He has served in all elected officer positions in ARPAS, SS-ASAS, Plains Nutrition Council, and as Director of PAACO. He has taught over 7,000 undergraduates and trained over 90 graduate students as chair or committee member. His research in nutrition is recognized globally.

Extension Award

Dr. Jason P. Banta, Texas A&M University


Dr. Jason Banta has worked as an Extension Beef Cattle Specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for the last 11 years. He developed a highly successful and well-recognized Extension Program, which includes presentations at over 550 Extension meetings. One highlight of Dr. Banta’s career has been the co-development of 5 banner programs that provide clientele with daylong, in-depth training on specific topics such as bull selection or hay production and purchasing. Dr. Banta has been an active ASAS member. From 2009 to 2011 he served on the Executive Committee of the Southern Section Extension Group; serving as Chair in 2011. In 2013, he served on the Extension Education Committee for the National ASAS meeting.  In addition to his Extension activities, Dr. Banta has been a valuable collaborator on several research projects, served on 7 graduate student advisory committees, and annually teaches an applied nutrition course for Texas A&M's 3rd year veterinary students.

Young Animal Scientist - Research

Sponsored by Elanco Animal Health

Dr. Caleb O. Lemley, Mississippi state University

Dr. Caleb Lemley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Mississippi State University. He received a B.S. in Biochemistry in 2005 from West Virginia University. He received a M.S. in 2007 and a Ph.D. in 2010 in Reproductive Physiology from West Virginia University. Dr. Lemley worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at North Dakota State University from 2010 to 2012. During this time he secured, as principal investigator, $200,000 in postdoctoral fellowship grants. He joined Mississippi State University in 2012 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Lemley’s research at MSU focuses on reproductive endocrinology with an emphasis on hormone bioavailability and function during conceptus development. He has published 39 peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 book chapters, and 82 conference abstracts. Dr. Lemley has advised 3 M.S. and 1 Ph.D. students as well as serving as a committee member for 12 graduate students.

Young Animal Scientist - Education

Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan, Oklahoma State University


Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan is an Assistant Professor of Meat Science, Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University. Ram received his Ph.D. degree in Animal Science (with Meat Science concentration) from the University of Connecticut in 2012. He earned his Bachelor of Veterinary and Animal Science in 2004 from Kerala Agricultural University, India and his M.S. from the University of Connecticut. Ram’s primary responsibilities include teaching food science classes, conduct research in beef quality, and undergraduate student advising. Ram teaches 6 different courses ranging from freshman level to graduate level courses. Ram’s research focus on both fundamental and applied factors that influence fresh meat quality; more specifically on the postmortem biochemistry and meat color. Ram is an active member of the ASAS, American Meat Science Association, and Institute of Food Technologist. Ram is married to Anjana and lives in with his family in Stillwater. They have three children.

Emerging Scholar Award

W. Brandon Smith, Texas A&M AgriLife Research

William "Brandon" Smith is a native of Slocomb, AL. He received dual B.S. degrees from Auburn University (agronomy & soils; animal sciences) in 2012 and an M.S. from the University of Arkansas (ruminant nutrition) in 2014. Currently, Brandon is a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University specializing in forage agronomy and the forage-animal interface. His undergraduate research centered around production practices to improve annual ryegrass yield in Alabama, and his MS research focused on limit-feeding byproduct feedstuffs. Currently, Brandon is pursuing his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University to evaluate the use of DDGS in stocker supplementation programs on actively-growing warm season perennial pastures. Brandon has 1 manuscript in addition to 6 extension papers, 1 book chapter, 2 popular press articles and 26 abstracts. He is a past Graduate Director of both the Am. Soc. Anim. Sci. and Am. Soc. Agron. Boards of Directors. Brandon plans to finish his program May 2017.

MS Graduate Competition Winners

First Place
Amanda Fabi, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Second Place
Courtney Spencer, Oklahoma State University

Third Place
Emily Kaufman, West Texas A&M University

PhD Graduate Competition Winners

First Place
Adam McGee, Oklahoma State University

Second Place
Alyssa Word, Texas Tech University

Third Place
William Kayser, Texas A&M University

Undergraduate Competition Winners

First Place
Ruby Monn, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Second Place
Tyler Garcia, Texas A&M University

Third Place
Justine Galliou, North Carolina University, Raleigh

Southern Section Academic Quadrathlon Winners

First Place
Texas Tech University

Second Place
Auburn University

Third Place
Texas A&M University